Honey Cinnamon Basket Challah

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honey basket challah final

As much as I love experimenting with exciting flavors for the New Year, I also loving making tried and true classics like a cinnamon-and-honey-laced challah. The exciting part about this challah is actually its basket-weave design.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 3-4 loavesServings

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1½ tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1¼ cup lukewarm water 
  • 4½-5 cups all-purpose unbleached flour 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon salt 
  • ¼ cup honey 
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 large eggs 

For the Topping

  • 2 egg yolks + 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 tablespoons sanding sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 

Preparation

1. In a small bowl, place yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and lukewarm water. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

2. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1½ cups flour, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil and honey. Mix thoroughly.

3. Add another cup of flour and eggs until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.

4. Add another cup of flour and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 10 minutes (or however long your hands will last).

5. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise 3-4 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F.

7. Using a dough cutter or sharp knife, split dough into 6 even portions. You can use a food scale to be the most precise. Roll out each portion into a strand around 10-12 inches long each.

8. Lay three strands vertically. Take one of the remaining strands of dough and place horizontally over the first vertical strand, under the second vertical strand and back over the third vertical strand.

9. Take the next remaining strand and do the exact opposite, placing it under the first vertical strand, over the second vertical strand and back under the third vertical strand. Using the last remaining strand, repeat over and under the vertical strands. The strands should make a tight basket weave in the middle with ends remaining on four sides.

10. On the first side, make a traditional braid using the three strands and pinch at the bottom.

11. On the second side, make a braid using an under motion and pinch at the bottom.

12. On the third side repeat a traditional braid and pinch at the bottom.

13. On the fourth side make another braid using an under motion and pinch at the bottom.

14. Fold each braid under the basket, gently pushing upwards as you tuck under. 

15. Place round challah on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper and allow to rise another 30-60 minutes.

16. Beat egg yolks with 1 teaspoon water. Brush liberally over challah. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly on top. 

17. Bake for 26-28 minutes, or until middle looks like it has just set and the color is golden.

Recipe originally published in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine Fall 2014